LIFE BEGINS FOR BARBIE

Barbie, the world’s most popular doll, marked her 40th birthday with a huge Milan fashion show Wednesday, kicking off worldwide celebrations sponsored by U.S. toymaker Mattel, which manufactures the doll. “We call it a celebration of Barbie’s 40th anniversary, not her birthday … because ladies don’t talk about their age,” said Lisa Prada, Barbie’s Marketing Manager in Italy. Among the new Barbies expected to debut this year is “Barbie Sleeping Beauty,” who awakes from a witch’s spell only when Ken, her faithful boyfriend, gives her a kiss. The Marilyn Monroe-lookalike doll is also set to take on a new profession after Mattel’s recent deal with Ferrari for exclusive rights to produce toys and collectibles based on the Italian race team. “There will certainly eventually be a Barbie Formula One race driver,” said a spokesman. Also due: an “X-Files” version, with Barbie and Ken as Scully and Mulder.

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